As a journalism student in 1975, I snuck into the White House press corps which was camped out in the basement of the East-West Center in Hawaii to watch Ms. Helen Thomas, UPI cover President Ford.
- Visit Didn't Help Ford Win Hawaii, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
- Daily Diary of President Gerald R. Ford, Dec. 7, 1975 (the 34th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor)
As reporters talked and laughed, waiting for Ford to mispronounce the word "hegemony," Helen Thomas smiled and typed away. She was my rock star.
Eleven years later, I was working for that very same UPI, covering the deposed dictator President Ferdinand Marcos as he landed in Hawaii, exiled from the Philippines.
I hate the disgrace that came to Helen Thomas at the end of her career. I prefer to remember the very smart, very visible role model she was for women journalists.
I never wanted to be the President. Helen Thomas certainly showed me that I could grill one if that's what I wanted to do.
Helen Thomas died today. She will always be remembered.
Thomas, Pioneering White House Correspondent, Dies at 92